Tribeca 2023: Maggie Moore(s)

Directed by: John Slattery
Distributed by: Screen Media

Written by Taylor Baker


John Slattery’s sophomore feature “Maggie Moore(s)” is a schlocky go-with-the-flow whodunnit genre entry that puts the audience in the know from the start. With entirely competent but never more than average filmmaking “Maggie Moore(s)” succeeds because of its triviality. The breeziness of the conversations of the townspeople, the smallness of problems that lead to macabre decisions, and the aw schucksiness of Jon Hamm its de facto lead. 

A less self-assured filmmaker would have drenched a film with a double homicide as its foundational premise in a dark and self-serious tone. Slattery balances the joy of his likable cast against the average often bordering on pitiful qualities of life to weave a tale about hiring a hitman gone wrong into a charming if lightweight flick. These sorts of happy-go-lucky genre twist films used to be a more common staple of the release cycle, but other than a small handful of films primarily released directly to Redbox it’s a subgenre that has more or less gone the way of the laserdisc.

With grown-up problems like being a widower, a divorcee, a struggling business owner, or a deaf hitman “Maggie Moore(s)” strikes a goofy balance of being fun and funny with just enough pathos to keep you invested and intrigued by the characters at the center of the film. Due in no small part to the townspeople ensemble lending just enough quality that for an hour and a half you can pretend to believe that any of this is actually happening. And who doesn’t want to see Liz Lemon and Drew Baird (Tina Fey and Jon Hamm) have another chance to end up together? “Maggie Moore(s)” is nothing new, but it is a fun presentation of something familiar and that can often be its own sort of reward.

“Maggie Moore(s)” Trailer

“Maggie Moore(s)” was screened as part of the 2023 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival.

You can follow more of Taylor’s thoughts on film on LetterboxdTwitter, and Rotten Tomatoes.

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